Solar Energy

Solar Energy

Today, the political crisis, economic and sustainability issues of fossil fuels, environmental concerns, overcrowding, economic development and utilization, are topics that concern everyone around the world, and have motivated scientists to find suitable energy resources that would address the these crises. Fossil fuels are less productive and will eventually be depleted. On the other hand, the renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, ocean and biomass energy are among the best solutions to our energy problems.



Net power generation capacities added in the EU 28 in 2013 (MW)
Figure 1. The rate of power generation capacity added in 2013, using different technologies in Europe.

Solar radiation varies in different parts of the world and is at the highest at the equator. Iran is located near this Sun Belt and has a great potential to take advantage of this energy resource.  Around 90% of Iran's land has over 300 effective sunny days. In figure 2 the average annual solar radiation in different parts of the globe is shown. This rate for various parts of Iran is estimated between 1800kWh/m2 to 2500kWh/m2 which is higher than the global average. The favorable potential for solar energy in many parts of Iran, has provided a fertile ground for the use of solar equipment.

Although the random nature of solar energy and heavy investment necessary for photovoltaic plants are serious obstacles, but many developed and developing countries in the world tend to use this energy resource. According to EPIA, with a 35% increase of  installed capacity of solar power systems in 2013, the total installed capacity would be over 136GW globally.


Solar energy potentials in Iran and the world

Figure 2. Solar energy potentials in Iran and the world

Germany, China and Italy with a total installed capacity of 35.7GW, 18.6GW and 17.9GW respectively have been the most active countries in recent years in the field of solar energy. China, Japan and the United States of America with installed capacity of 11.3GW, 6.9GW and 4.8GW respectively in 2013, will be the largest solar energy markets in the coming years.
EPIA (European Photovoltaic Industry Association) has predicted that by 2018 the total installed capacity of photovoltaic panels around the world would reach between 321GW to 430GW. Also, In its recent report, IEA has predicted that by 2050, 16% of total global energy would be provided by solar power.


 The growth of the installed capacity of photovoltaic systems between 2008 and 2013 
Figure 3. Installed capacity growth of the photovoltaic systems between 2008 and 2013

Growth forecast of installed capacity of photovoltaic systems in the coming years

Figure 4. Projected installed capacity of photovoltaic systems in the coming years


In Iran, more than 90 percent of consumed energy is provided by fossil fuel power plants. For every MWh of energy they produce, these plants produce 21.3kg of various oxides, carbon, carbon monoxide and 685kg of CO2. In case of using natural gas, these figures would be reduced to 6.7kg and 477kg respectively. Due to increased air pollution and the environmental issues in big cities, the use of renewable energy is a national necessity.
IR of Iran plans to increase the capacity of renewable energy plants to 5GW in the five year development plan. During the last two years, in the field of solar energy, supportive legislations have been passed. Also last year, the government was obliged to allocate over sixty million dollars to expand the use of photovoltaic cells for solar energy. Because of government incentive policies, the use of renewable energy sources has increased, although it is still far from the standards of developed countries.

The most important photovoltaic solar energy installations in Iran are 514kW Malard power plant in Alborz Province, 50kW Tabriz power plant and 40kW Taleghan power plant. Department of Energy is now building large solar power plants in Zahedan and Kerman in partnership with the private sector.

BCE is ready to consult investors who wish to install photovoltaic equipment as we have provided Safanikoo Co, with a feasiblity study for a 10MW solar power plant in Nain.



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